Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
5/28/2017

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 2.2-4000. Short title; purpose.

A. This chapter may be cited as the "Administrative Process Act."

B. The purpose of this chapter is to supplement present and future basic laws conferring authority on agencies either to make regulations or decide cases as well as to standardize court review thereof save as laws hereafter enacted may otherwise expressly provide. This chapter shall not supersede or repeal additional procedural requirements in such basic laws.

1975, c. 503, §§ 9-6.14:1. 9-6.14:3; 1977, c. 647; 1984, c. 5; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4001. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Agency" means any authority, instrumentality, officer, board or other unit of the state government empowered by the basic laws to make regulations or decide cases.

"Agency action" means either an agency's regulation or case decision or both, any violation, compliance, or noncompliance with which could be a basis for the imposition of injunctive orders, penal or civil sanctions of any kind, or the grant or denial of relief or of a license, right, or benefit by any agency or court.

"Basic law" or "basic laws" means provisions of the Constitution and statutes of the Commonwealth authorizing an agency to make regulations or decide cases or containing procedural requirements therefor.

"Case" or "case decision" means any agency proceeding or determination that, under laws or regulations at the time, a named party as a matter of past or present fact, or of threatened or contemplated private action, either is, is not, or may or may not be (i) in violation of such law or regulation or (ii) in compliance with any existing requirement for obtaining or retaining a license or other right or benefit.

"Guidance document" means any document developed by a state agency or staff that provides information or guidance of general applicability to the staff or public to interpret or implement statutes or the agency's rules or regulations, excluding agency minutes or documents that pertain only to the internal management of agencies. Nothing in this definition shall be construed or interpreted to expand the identification or release of any document otherwise protected by law.

"Hearing" means agency processes other than those informational or factual inquiries of an informal nature provided in §§ 2.2-4007.01 and 2.2-4019 and includes only (i) opportunity for private parties to submit factual proofs in formal proceedings as provided in § 2.2-4009 in connection with the making of regulations or (ii) a similar right of private parties or requirement of public agencies as provided in § 2.2-4020 in connection with case decisions.

"Hearing officer" means an attorney selected from a list maintained by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court in accordance with § 2.2-4024.

"Public assistance and social services programs" means those programs specified in § 63.2-100.

"Registrar" means the Registrar of Regulations appointed as provided in § 2.2-4102.

"Rule" or "regulation" means any statement of general application, having the force of law, affecting the rights or conduct of any person, adopted by an agency in accordance with the authority conferred on it by applicable basic laws.

"Subordinate" means (i) one or more but less than a quorum of the members of a board constituting an agency, (ii) one or more of its staff members or employees, or (iii) any other person or persons designated by the agency to act in its behalf.

"Virginia Register of Regulations" means the publication issued under the provisions of Article 6 (§ 2.2-4031 et seq.).

"Virginia Regulatory Town Hall" means the website operated by the Department of Planning and Budget, which has online public comment forums and displays information about regulatory actions under consideration in the Commonwealth and sends this information to registered public users.

1975, c. 503, § 9-6.14:4; 1977, cc. 377, 381; 1979, c. 613; 1984, c. 187; 1985, cc. 67, 602; 1997, c. 11; 2001, c. 844; 2002, c. 747; 2007, cc. 873, 916; 2011, cc. 241, 315.

§ 2.2-4002. Exemptions from chapter generally.

A. Although required to comply with § 2.2-4103 of the Virginia Register Act (§ 2.2-4100 et seq.), the following agencies shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter, except to the extent that they are specifically made subject to §§ 2.2-4024, 2.2-4030, and 2.2-4031:

1. The General Assembly.

2. Courts, any agency of the Supreme Court, and any agency that by the Constitution is expressly granted any of the powers of a court of record.

3. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in promulgating regulations regarding the management of wildlife and for all case decisions rendered pursuant to any provisions of Chapters 2 (§ 29.1-200 et seq.), 3 (§ 29.1-300 et seq.), 4 (§ 29.1-400 et seq.), 5 (§ 29.1-500 et seq.), and 7 (§ 29.1-700 et seq.) of Title 29.1.

4. The Virginia Housing Development Authority.

5. Municipal corporations, counties, and all local, regional or multijurisdictional authorities created under this Code, including those with federal authorities.

6. Educational institutions operated by the Commonwealth, provided that, with respect to § 2.2-4031, such educational institutions shall be exempt from the publication requirements only with respect to regulations that pertain to (i) their academic affairs, (ii) the selection, tenure, promotion and disciplining of faculty and employees, (iii) the selection of students, and (iv) rules of conduct and disciplining of students.

7. The Milk Commission in promulgating regulations regarding (i) producers' licenses and bases, (ii) classification and allocation of milk, computation of sales and shrinkage, and (iii) class prices for producers' milk, time and method of payment, butterfat testing and differential.

8. The Virginia Resources Authority.

9. Agencies expressly exempted by any other provision of this Code.

10. The Department of General Services in promulgating standards for the inspection of buildings for asbestos pursuant to § 2.2-1164.

11. (Effective until October 1, 2016) The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, in developing, issuing, and revising guidelines pursuant to § 23-9.6:2.

11. (Effective October 1, 2016) The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, in developing, issuing, and revising guidelines pursuant to § 23.1-207.

12. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services in adopting regulations pursuant to subsection B of § 3.2-6002 and in adopting regulations pursuant to § 3.2-6023.

13. The Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services in promulgating regulations pursuant to subsections B and D of § 3.2-3601, subsection B of § 3.2-3701, § 3.2-4002, subsections B and D of § 3.2-4801, §§ 3.2-5121 and 3.2-5206, and subsection A of § 3.2-5406.

14. The Board of Optometry when specifying therapeutic pharmaceutical agents, treatment guidelines, and diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa for TPA-certification of optometrists pursuant to Article 5 (§ 54.1-3222 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of Title 54.1.

15. The Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services in adopting regulations pursuant to § 2.2-2001.3.

16. The State Board of Education, in developing, issuing, and revising guidelines pursuant to § 22.1-203.2.

17. The Virginia Racing Commission, (i) when acting by and through its duly appointed stewards or in matters related to any specific race meeting or (ii) in promulgating technical rules regulating actual live horse racing at race meetings licensed by the Commission.

18. The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority.

19. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority.

20. The Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services in adopting, amending or repealing regulations pursuant to subsection A (ii) of § 59.1-156.

21. The Insurance Continuing Education Board pursuant to § 38.2-1867.

22. The Board of Health in promulgating the list of diseases that shall be reported to the Department of Health pursuant to § 32.1-35 and in adopting, amending or repealing regulations pursuant to subsection C of § 35.1-14 that incorporate the Food and Drug Administration's Food Code pertaining to restaurants or food service.

23. The Commissioner of the Marine Resources Commission in setting a date of closure for the Chesapeake Bay purse seine fishery for Atlantic menhaden for reduction purposes pursuant to § 28.2-1000.2.

24. The Board of Pharmacy when specifying special subject requirements for continuing education for pharmacists pursuant to § 54.1-3314.1.

25. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services when promulgating rules and regulations pursuant to § 58.1-3219.7.

26. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services when developing, issuing, or revising any training standards established by the Criminal Justice Services Board under § 9.1-102, provided such actions are authorized by the Governor in the interest of public safety.

B. Agency action relating to the following subjects shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter:

1. Money or damage claims against the Commonwealth or agencies thereof.

2. The award or denial of state contracts, as well as decisions regarding compliance therewith.

3. The location, design, specifications or construction of public buildings or other facilities.

4. Grants of state or federal funds or property.

5. The chartering of corporations.

6. Customary military, militia, naval or police functions.

7. The selection, tenure, dismissal, direction or control of any officer or employee of an agency of the Commonwealth.

8. The conduct of elections or eligibility to vote.

9. Inmates of prisons or other such facilities or parolees therefrom.

10. The custody of persons in, or sought to be placed in, mental health facilities or penal or other state institutions as well as the treatment, supervision, or discharge of such persons.

11. Traffic signs, markers or control devices.

12. Instructions for application or renewal of a license, certificate, or registration required by law.

13. Content of, or rules for the conduct of, any examination required by law.

14. The administration of pools authorized by Chapter 47 (§ 2.2-4700 et seq.).

15. Any rules for the conduct of specific lottery games, so long as such rules are not inconsistent with duly adopted regulations of the Virginia Lottery Board, and provided that such regulations are published and posted.

16. Orders condemning or closing any shellfish, finfish, or crustacea growing area and the shellfish, finfish or crustacea located thereon pursuant to Article 2 (§ 28.2-803 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 28.2.

17. Any operating procedures for review of child deaths developed by the State Child Fatality Review Team pursuant to § 32.1-283.1 and any operating procedures for review of adult deaths developed by the Adult Fatality Review Team pursuant to § 32.1-283.5.

18. The regulations for the implementation of the Health Practitioners' Monitoring Program and the activities of the Health Practitioners' Monitoring Program Committee pursuant to Chapter 25.1 (§ 54.1-2515 et seq.) of Title 54.1.

19. The process of reviewing and ranking grant applications submitted to the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Advisory Board pursuant to Article 12 (§ 51.5-178 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 51.5.

20. Loans from the Small Business Environmental Compliance Assistance Fund pursuant to Article 4 (§ 10.1-1197.1 et seq.) of Chapter 11.1 of Title 10.1.

21. The Virginia Breeders Fund created pursuant to § 59.1-372.

22. The types of pari-mutuel wagering pools available for live or simulcast horse racing.

23. The administration of medication or other substances foreign to the natural horse.

C. Minor changes to regulations published in the Virginia Administrative Code under the Virginia Register Act (§ 2.2-4100 et seq.), made by the Virginia Code Commission pursuant to § 30-150, shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

1985, c. 602, § 9-6.14:4.1; 1986, c. 615; 1987, cc. 375, 652; 1988, cc. 364, 424, 498, 723, 765, 820; 1989, cc. 54, 299, 478; 1990, cc. 721, 968; 1991, cc. 80, 294, 344; 1992, cc. 200, 409, 488, 592, 793; 1993, cc. 537, 669, 898; 1994, cc. 237, 577, 649, 740, 743, 801; 1995, cc. 103, 499, 516; 1996, cc. 51, 152, 158, 189, 205, 279, 320, 345, 573, 590, 598, 638, 705, 735, 818, 1012; 1997, cc. 87, 88, 109, 212, 390, 439, 567, 624, 785, 806, 845, 850, 861, 868; 1998, cc. 39, 619, 784; 1999, cc. 412, 421, 433, 603; 2000, cc. 382, 400, 924, 1011; 2001, cc. 465, 523, 688, 820, 844; 2003, cc. 639, 695; 2004, c. 802; 2006, c. 442; 2007, cc. 41, 870, 932; 2008, c. 672; 2009, c. 472; 2010, cc. 65, 178, 480, 728; 2012, cc. 476, 507, 594, 803, 835; 2013, cc. 59, 234, 760, 780; 2014, c. 225; 2015, c. 108.

§ 2.2-4003. Venue.

In all proceedings under § 2.2-4019 or 2.2-4020 venue shall be in the city or county where the administrative agency maintains its principal office or as the parties may otherwise agree. In all proceedings under § 2.2-4026, venue shall be as specified in subdivision 1 of § 8.01-261.

1975, c. 503, § 9-6.14:5; 1977, c. 624; 2001, c. 844; 2007, cc. 873, 916.

§ 2.2-4004. Severability.

The provisions of regulations adopted under this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances that are held invalid shall not affect the validity of other regulations, provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or applications. The provisions of all regulations are severable unless (i) the regulation specifically provides that its provisions are not severable or (ii) it is apparent that two or more regulations or provisions must operate in accord with one another.

1987, c. 55, § 9-6.14:5.1; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4005. Review of exemptions by Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall conduct a review periodically of the exemptions authorized by this chapter. The purpose of this review shall be to assess whether there are any exemptions that should be discontinued or modified.

1985, c. 602, § 9-6.14:4.1; 1986, c. 615; 1987, cc. 375, 652; 1988, cc. 364, 424, 498, 723, 765, 820; 1989, cc. 54, 299, 478; 1990, cc. 721, 968; 1991, cc. 80, 294, 344; 1992, cc. 200, 409, 488, 592, 793; 1993, cc. 537, 669, 898; 1994, cc. 237, 577, 649, 740, 743, 801; 1995, cc. 103, 499, 516; 1996, cc. 51, 152, 158, 189, 205, 279, 320, 345, 573, 590, 598, 638, 705, 735, 818, 1012; 1997, cc. 87, 88, 109, 212, 390, 439, 567, 624, 785, 806, 845, 850, 861, 868; 1998, cc. 39, 619, 784; 1999, cc. 412, 421, 433, 603; 2000, cc. 382, 400, 924, 1011; 2001, c. 844.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

The Virginia General Assembly is offering access to the Code of Virginia on the Internet as a service to the public. We are unable to assist users of this service with legal questions nor respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.

The Code of Virginia online database excludes material copyrighted by the publisher, Michie, a division of Matthew Bender. Copyrighted material includes annotations and revisors' notes, which may be found in the print version of the Code of Virginia. Annotated print copies of the Code of Virginia are available in most Virginia public library systems, from LexisNexis (1-800-446-3410), and from West, a Thomson-Reuters business (1-800-344-5008).